Don Voss took a job driving a delivery truck at a small, local construction company shortly after he was married and in need of a job. He learned to be a carpenter, worked his way up and now owns Glenn H. Johnson Construction.
Voss has been at the company for 42 years. He has been instrumental in the growth of the general contracting firm that operates nationwide and is best known for its retail projects and churches. Its portfolio includes many Mariano's, Home Depot and other big box retail stores and churches, including Willow Creek in Glenview and the new one in Crystal Lake.
Glenn Johnson started the company in the basement of his Wilmette home. As the company grew, Voss learned the ropes of the business that now employs about 20. The firm, that operates at offices and a warehouse in Des Plaines, is celebrating its 50th anniversary later this month.
Johnson is returning for a celebration to celebrate the five decades. Johnson is 90 and retired in Arizona.
"It has been a good run," said Voss, 63. He added that there have been tough economic times along the way. A key to the growth has been that they had cash reserves and a "good list of clients," he said.
Voss, of Lombard, started at the company 42 years ago when the founder's son helped him get a job. Voss grew up in Villa Park and was in the middle of nine siblings. He married his high school sweetheart, Cheryl, from Timothy Christian High School in Elmhurst.
Like Voss, many of the employees at the construction company have been there for many years. Vice Presidents Dick Hill and John Erickson each have about 20 years under their belt. "We have a tight-knit group here," said Erickson, who grew up in a family that was in the construction industry.
The leaders of the Des Plaines company say they are proud of the past 50 years and the projects they have completed as well as the fact that they have built the business "upon Christian principles of honesty and integrity."
Chad Severson of the Kudan Group represented the owner of Bar 145, a 9,300-square-foot property at 34 S. Main Street in Mount Prospect, in the sale to Jameson's Pub. An Irish sports bar with pub fare and daily drink specials, Jameson's has two other locations, the original in Joliet and another in Frankfort. This is the company's first venture in the northern suburbs.
Severson also represented the purchaser of Danny's Pub, at 1550 N. Route 59 in Naperville. Danny's has been a Naperville fixture for more than 25 years and the new owner plans to retain the familiar name and concept. The neighborly, family friendly bar known for its award-winning burgers continues operation without a pause.
Kudan Group focuses on restaurant and retail transactions in the Chicagoland market.
Elmhurst-based J.C. Anderson Inc. said it has been selected to complete a 45,000 square foot office expansion and renovation for CBRE Group Inc. at 700 Commerce Drive, Oak Brook Pointe, in Oak Brook.
A Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, CBRE is a large commercial real estate services and investment firm.
J.C. Anderson Inc. has been selected to complete a 45,000 square foot expansion and build-out for the firm's Oak Brook office to accommodate the consolidation of CBRE's suburban workers to this one larger location.
The new office will implement CBRE's Workplace360 design, a leading-edge approach to workplace strategy designed to promote flexibility, mobility and productivity through technology-enabled, 100-percent free-address and paperless offices. The construction is set to be complete August 2017.
A learning experience
HydraForce based in Lincolnshire hosted a group of 40 students from Carmel Catholic High School who are interested in becoming engineers. The visit included tours of the HydraForce manufacturing plant and Innovation and Technology Center, presentations from employees in various engineering disciplines -- product design, electronics, sales, application and manufacturing engineering and several hands-on activities including creating an engineering drawing, diagraming a circuit, an electronics demonstration and building a check valve.
"We were pleased to host these students from the engineering program at Carmel -- it was the third school we have hosted this year for a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program, and the largest group," said Robyn Safron, human resources manager at HydraForce.
HydraForce designs and manufactures high performance hydraulic fluid power cartridge valves, custom manifolds and electrohydraulic controls. The company employs about 775 people at its headquarters and machining center in Lincolnshire and Innovation Center in Vernon Hills.